Freezing and bursting pipes make big mess, plumbers provide tips

Published: Jan. 31, 2019 at 3:41 PM CST
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Recent frigid temperatures made a big mess at one Branson home as pipes froze and burst.

Plumbers say the multiple cracks in the copper pipes may be small, but pressure pushes a lots of water through them, leaking from the attic into the main level and basement.

“Thousands of gallons,” Plumber at Kimberling City Plumbing and Branson Plumbing Earl Blankenship said.

It created quite a mess and restoration crews are ripping up wet carpet and drying walls.

"Water was running down through all the main electrical panels,” Servpro Construction Project Manager Eric Nielsen said.

Nielsen says, this time of year, they get a lot of calls about pipes that had frozen and burst.

"Especially in our area where it's nice out one day, then it just doesn't take long for the cold fronts to catch people off guard,” Nielsen said.

Plumbers are repairing and replacing pipes, but Blankenship says the main goal it making sure the pipes don't freeze again.

"Being in an attic where you're getting a draft through there is bad,” Blankenship said.

He says temporary solutions like opening cabinet doors and letting a faucet drip can help.

"When it's setting idle, that's when it's going to freeze up,” Blankenship said.

However, Blankenship says long-term fixes are best.

"Anywhere that you've got air that can travel from one point to another in a confined space where you have water piping, seal those areas off,” Blankenship said.

Experts say, even if pipes are insulated, if cold air can reach them they are at risk.

“Insulation by itself is useless,” Plumber Jeston Parks said.

"I've seen houses that have never froze, never had a problem before but they got animals, maybe squirrels, into the attic, created a draft problem, then they have this kind of scenerio,” Blankenship said.

That’s why he says protecting your pipes should be a part of regular maintenence.

"Just look for those type of things and make sure you stay on top of it,” Blankenship said.

Nielsen says drying up the water and repairing the plumbing is only part of the restoration process. He says electrical work, new drywall, and carpet replacement is all part of getting the home fully repaired.

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